Keto Flu Remedies: Fastest Ways to Stop Keto Flu [E14]

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Brain fog, lack of energy, can't think clearly, terrible headaches, cramps, & dizziness? Welcome to the keto flu. Join us to find out why you feel like a mess and what you can do to fix it!

Keto Flu Remedies for Brain Fog, Dizziness, Headaches, & Cramps [E14] transcript powered by Sonix—the best audio to text transcription service

Keto Flu Remedies for Brain Fog, Dizziness, Headaches, & Cramps [E14] was automatically transcribed by Sonix with the latest audio-to-text algorithms. This transcript may contain errors. Sonix is the best way to convert your audio to text in 2020.

Hey there, Tasha here. Welcome back. The New Year has brought lots of new listeners and loads of people who are new to keto and still learning how to navigate the ins and outs of this dietary pattern. So if you're new here, I would love to encourage you to browse through some of the older episodes. They aren't old, old. Don't get me wrong. This podcast is still pretty new itself, but some of the first episodes dived into the hows and whys of getting started on keto. Episode 1, for example, is called "The Easiest Way to Start Keto." And that's definitely going to set you up to take the first step. I have loads of other resources available on my web site Ketogasm dot com, including my new book, Keto: A Woman's Guide and Cookbook. That was just released a couple of weeks ago. And this is a great, great book for all women do and keto. Newbie's, old pros, even coaches interested in fine-tuning keto for their female clients, the whole bunch. So definitely be sure to check that out when you get an opportunity. And for everyone else, again, thank you for listening and for your huge, huge support with the book. Watch. Your pre-orders and reviews have been such a big help in getting the book out there. As a relatively new author, these are the types of things that drive the success of a book.

So thank you again for those of you who have popped over to leave a review on Amazon. And if you haven't had the chance to do that yet, I would really appreciate it if you could just take a quick second, leave a review, and let me know what your favorite part of the book is so far or what you're looking forward to learning the most. Even if it wasn't purchased on Amazon, the reviews there are hugely helpful in making sure the book gets any kind of attention.

Now today I'm talking all about keto flu and what to do. And I want to make sure to talk about it now, while there are lots of new listeners and people starting out with carb restriction. Because keto flu is going to hit you the hardest when you're just starting out. And I'm calling it, quote unquote, "keto flu," but it's not influenza. You don't get infected with a virus when you take on a low carb diet. So what's actually going on? The symptoms of the keto flu include brain fog, haziness, sluggishness, and lack of energy. For starters. Then we have dizziness, lightheadedness headaches, leg cramps, heart palpitations. All of these other things that kind of get lumped in there as well. So there's a whole lot going on with the keto flu. There's a whole list of symptoms that get tossed together and the keto flu bucket.

And we know it's not really the flu. It just gets described that way because people feel like total garbage. Right. Just like they had the flu. But what's really going on are a couple things simultaneously. So let's look at those and figure out what the heck to do about it. Not being fat adapted yet is a big driver of keto flu. All right. When you're first restricting carbs in your diet, your body burns through its stored carbs in your muscle and liver, your glycogen stores. And once that glycogen has been depleted, your body's forced to rely on other fuel sources. Right. So the metabolic pathways that have been routinely running day in, day out on your high carb diet, those are interrupted and your body's forced to take an alternate route. Right. So your body starts producing ketones and it starts making its own sugar via gluconeogenesis to cover its needs. OK, I'm not going to go too in-depth. Most of you don't want the nitty gritty science if I start talking about the Krebs cycle, your eyes are going to glaze over. You're gonna turn me off, right? So I'm just gonna give you the gist about what happens when you get into ketosis. You cut out carbs, your body starts producing only the amount of carbs it needs to fuel certain cells from within, inside and it ramps up keto production for fuel as well.

Your body is smart and it has all of these adaptive mechanisms. So when we take carbs away, it has its own built in way of adjusting to the change. And this change represents a change in metabolic state. Our bodies handle it beautifully, shifting to new metabolic pathways to burn fat for fuel. Our new primary energy source and so on and so forth. Right. But the problem that we often see during this initial shift in metabolism is that our body was adapted to high carb intake. So when we make the shift, all of the enzymes required to facilitate oxidation of carbs were in demand. But now the enzymes required to facilitate the oxidation of fat and amino acids are in demand. And then the enzymes also required for gluconeogenesis are in demand. In other words, when we first start out with keto, all the chemical reactions that happen in our body to burn carbs for energy are better supported than the chemical reactions that happen in our body to burn fat and protein for energy. That's really just the gist of it. When we get started, our bodies are better sugar burners than fat burners. OK, so what does our body do when it's still used to sugar burning mode, it's not a good fat burner yet, and the sugar supply has been completely cut off? It adapts.

OK, so our body adapts and becomes better at burning fats. The demand for fat burning support is there now, so the body adapts and adjusts. And over time your body is efficiently burning fat for fuel. I like to think of the metabolism in this context, like a traffic detour. You're used to driving your commute every day. You know how much gas you need, how much time it takes to get there. Traffic hold ups, every little detail of your commute, right? So much so that you're often driving back and forth to your job on autopilot. Right. But one day there's a massive road construction. Let's say the bridge was completely shut down and you have a detour. But as you drive through, it's unfamiliar and when you first navigate it, it's not very efficient. But once it's been shut down for a week, two weeks or longer, you become more efficient using that detour route. That's similar to the way our metabolic pathways are operating during the shift to nutritional ketosis. But in those first few days, even weeks of starting a very low carb ketogenic diet, that brain fog can feel pretty bad. It can be like you're moving in slow motion. The world's going at a normal pace and your head can't catch up and you're just lacking energy. Your body's moving faster than your mind and it's not very fun. And that's because your body's just not efficient at burning fat for fuel just yet.

Luckily, there are a couple things to do about the brain fog and lack of energy when you first get started with keto. The best thing to do in this scenario is to be patient and stay the course because it does take time. So don't give up right away. The next best thing, aside from just waiting it out, is to support your body with MCTs. MCTs are medium chain triglycerides, which are metabolized in a completely different way than long chain triglycerides, and that's the fat that's usually found in your diet. OK, they don't really have to go through the same detour route so they aren't susceptible to clunky, inefficient metabolism and can provide quick fat for energy. They're digested and metabolized much, much faster and can help with the keto brain fog or low energy scenarios that occur when you make the switch to keto. They have other uses too, but this is not a bad way to get started with MCTs. And you can find these in coconut oil naturally or you can purchase some oil or supplements and try those. So that's one way. And the other thing that you may want to consider is something that I can't even believe that I am including in my list of suggestions for you guys, because if you have known me for a while, I have been very anti

exogenous ketones. But I want to point out a few things before I recommend them for using it for brain fog or energy boosting purposes. It's important to know that exogenous ketones don't make you skinny. Exogenous ketones do not make you skinny. Okay, so if someone is selling you exogenous ketones with the false promise that you are going to get skinny regardless of whatever you're eating and that you're going to magically be able to cheat on your diet and eat whatever you want and do all of these things and still be in ketosis, that's false. Okay. Ketones are not the driving force behind weight loss. OK, we've talked about this at length and you guys know why. OK. Calorie deficit still required on keto or any other dietary pattern, if you want to lose body fat. OK, so if people are trying to sell you keto on supplements as a way to get skinny or eat whatever you want, whatever their sales tactics include, that is not their actual purpose. OK, so don't fall for the MLM marketing tactics. That's not what they're for! They have therapeutic uses. They may be a good option for athletic support. And finally, they do offer a quick fuel source for sluggishness, lack of energy and brain fog that occurs during that initial phase of fat adaptation. OK, so for brain fog, low energy and sluggishness during this time.

Think patience, time, MCTs, and maybe even exogenous ketones. I usually tell people exhaustion has ketones are expensive pee, because you're paying a premium price for ketones that just spill out into your urine if your body doesn't have a need to burn them and your body produces ketones on its own as long as you're restricting carbs. OK, so you don't need to pay for ketones. But in this context, I think they may offer value to people. I can talk more about this in another episode. It will probably be a rant episode, but let me know if you guys think it'll be helpful, OK?

Now what about all the other symptoms you might be experiencing when you first cut out carbs? Are you light headed? Are you dizzy? Are you nauseous? Do you have diarrhea? Are you shaky? Do you have really bad cramps or feel kind of blue? This isn't the actual flu either, but it is likely an electrolyte imbalance usually related to salt and potassium. Okay. Our typical standard American diet or even any westernised dietary pattern is typically full of high sodium, low potassium foods which causes us to retain quite a bit of excess sodium. Because sodium and potassium are in this kind of balancing game with each other where if we're eating high sodium, if we increased our potassium and take that would kind of balance it out.

Okay. It's like a teeter totter. But as we shift into ketosis, our bodies dump sodium. Insulin drops causing the kidneys to release sodium. And we also dump buckets of water as our glycogen is depleted with carb restriction. And with sodium quickly released, this triggers the release of potassium to balance it all out and with all the extra water being shed, this flushes out water soluble vitamins and minerals at a much quicker pace than what our body is actually accustomed to. So coming from a western diet to keto, the body goes quickly from excess sodium retention to being completely depleted of sodium. And I know that many of us are told to limit salt or limit sodium intake because we are in excess when we're eating our high carb westernised diets. But with the lower insulin levels and this altered sodium metabolism, it is important to include sodium in a ketogenic diet. And luckily that is a pretty simple fix, right? Get salt in your diet: broth stocks, salty brines. If you just started keto and you were wondering "what's the deal with people drinking pickle juice?" This is why. We're expelling more salt than usual with our very low carb intake. So having salt, drinking sole water, drinking electrolyte beverages like sugar free sports drinks, Powerade, Gatorade, those kind of things, if they're sugar free, you can have them on a keto diet and they're high in salt.

OK, so even supplements like LMNT can be really helpful. So salt or more importantly, sodium can help balance those symptoms. But you also want to ensure potassium intake is adequate because remember, as all that salt was depleted or all the sodium was depleted, the potassium followed quickly after and when potassium is depleted, this causes cramps, muscle weakness, irregular heartbeat, constipation. And potassium, you want to try to get most of that from your food. If you opt for high potassium keto foods, you'll probably get enough. OK. You don't really need to supplement here, but you can if it's warranted. ANd if all of that stuff is approved by your doctor. OK. High potassium foods that support ketosis include avocados, fish, meat, dark leafy greens, nuts and mushrooms. There's also no salt or light salt products, and they're usually about half sodium, half potassium. So those are also popular among keto dieters. But I just really want to caution you to be careful if you're considering a potassium supplement of any kind, even the salts. OK. Even light salt, because there are a lot of very common health conditions that do not tolerate potassium supplementation well. Where even though in most diets, a high potassium intake is a wonderful thing, that high potassium intake is not a good thing in these people. So any anybody with kidney conditions, some diabetic patients don't tolerate tolerate it well.

And your medical provider is going to help you figure that out, OK. this is informational purposes only. You guys know I'm not a doctor. And more importantly, I'm not your doctor or health care practitioner. So I do hope if you're on a journey towards better health, you have someone on your medical team in your corner working with you. In addition to sodium and potassium, when you're working on managing your electrolytes, magnesium is also helpful. It helps support energy production and lots of cellular processes, but it's really important because it helps the cells uptake potassium. So increasing your magnesium intake will also help your body make use of the potassium that you're putting in it. OK, magnesium supplementation is a great idea if you suspect that you have low potassium or even if you're just doing keto. Now, not a ton of keto foods are really high in magnesium. Frankly, we don't have a lot of options here. We can get some from leafy greens, seaweed, nuts, seeds, avocado, fatty fish, tofu, coffee, dairy and dark chocolate. But in general, most people doing keto choose to supplement with magnesium and a lot of women especially are already deficient in magnesium before even getting started on keto. So it is a good one to consider too. Low magnesium tends to show up as headaches, migraines, constipation, anxiety, irritability, depression, mood disorders, PMS, fatigue, and difficulty sleeping.

And it is involved in a ton of processes in your body. So it can really make a difference if you're low and you supplement and you feel a lot better afterwards. OK. So if anything, any of these symptoms sound familiar, magnesium may be something to look at. Now, if you do look for a magnesium supplement, I want you to opt for something with a better bioavailability like magnesium glycinate, magnesium citrate, something like that. Magnesium oxide is really common in multi-vitamins and supplements, but it doesn't have great bioavailability. So for electrolyte imbalance related keto flu symptoms think sodium, salt, potassium, high potassium foods and magnesium in your foods and possibly supplementation. I hope that was really helpful for you guys. I just want to make sure you guys feel as good as possible as you're getting started on your keto journey, but be sure to manage your electrolytes as you go along. OK. This is an ongoing thing. So not just from the get go. You're going to want to feel your best long term. So consider this as you move forward and make it past that brain fog stage and you become fat adapted. You still need to manage your electrolytes. All right, guys, that is all I have for today. I will see you next week.

Thank you so much for tuning into this episode of the Ketogasm podcast. You are awesome. I really hope the show's added value to your keto journey. Making big changes to your eating habits can be a little tricky, but if you're taking the time to listen and learn about keto, you're well on your way. You got this. Be sure to visit Ketogasm dot com for the show notes with full transcripts, references and resources to help you out, including a totally free course called Hello keto. It's helped over seventy five thousand people start keto with confidence. I'll see you in the next episode by.

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Welcome back to Easy Keto with Tasha! In today’s episode, we’re going to be discussing the best keto flu remedies to help combat all the nasty side effects the come along with it. We’ll be tackling dizziness, headaches, brain fog, cramps, and more!

Easy Keto with Tasha

Before we jump into our keto flu remedies, I wanted to encourage you to check out the previous episodes of Easy Keto with Tasha. I’m so excited that so many people have decided to check out keto in the New Year!

If you’re still figuring out the ins and outs of keto, definitely check out our past episodes. Our first episode reveals the easiest way to start keto, so you can start this diet journey with confidence! We also have tons of resources throughout the site that can help in all aspects of your keto. 

Keto: A Woman’s Guide & Cookbook

Another resource I wanted to mention is specifically for all of the lady listeners. As you may have heard, Keto: A Woman’s Guide & Cookbook was released earlier this month! 

This isn’t just any old diet book. Keto: A Woman’s Guide & Cookbook is a complete keto resource that will help you customize your keto journey. And it is ENTIRELY focused on the female body! Newcomers and old-timers alike will benefit from this easy-to-follow program!

I do have ONE favor to ask you. When you get your copy (or even if you’ve already received it), I would love if you could leave a review on Amazon! Let me know what your favorite part of the book is so far, or share what you’re most excited about learning. You can do this even if you purchased through a retailer other than Amazon. These reviews are massively helpful in getting a book seen by more people; they also help me know what you guys are really interested in!

Keto Flu & What To Do

Now, let’s get down to business. It’s time to tackle the keto flu. If you’re just starting keto, you’ll want to read closely! Keto flu will hit hardest when you’re beginning your carb restriction.

Despite what the name implies, it’s not actually influenza and you’re not really infected with a virus. That doesn’t mean that you won’t feel terrible like it was the real flu!

Symptoms of the Keto Flu

There are a few tell-tale signs that what you are experiencing is the keto flu. The symptoms of keto flu include:

  • Brain fog
  • Haziness
  • Sluggishness
  • Lack of energy
  • Dizziness
  • Lightheadedness
  • Headaches
  • Leg cramps
  • Heart palpitations

That’s a lot to deal with! Luckily, there are specific keto flu remedies you can use to lessen and prevent these symptoms.

Keto Flu & Fat-Adaptation

One of the main reasons keto flu occurs is because your body is not fat-adapted. This is also why keto flu tends to occur when you’re starting out on keto. 

In early carb restriction, your body burns through its glycogen stores, which are the stored carbs in your muscle and liver. Once that glycogen is depleted, your body is forced to rely on other sources of fuel. In turn, your body begins producing ketones and making its own sugar via gluconeogenesis. It’s more simple than it sounds!

Your body has a way of adapting to change once you take carbs away. This change represents a change in metabolic state. In turn, your body shifts to new metabolic pathways in order to burn fat for fuel. When we make this shift, all of our enzymes required to facilitate the oxidization of carbs were in demand. Then, all of our enzymes required to facilitate the oxidation of fat and amino acids are in demand. The enzymes required for gluconeogenesis also become in-demand. 

Basically, our bodies start out being better at burning sugar than they are at burning fat. However, our bodies adapt to become better at burning fat. Over time, they become efficient at burning fat.  Before you reach efficiency, you are at risk of falling victim to the keto flu.

Brain Fog During the Keto Flu

Your body is used to the metabolic pathways of your high-carb diet. When you first make the shift into a keto diet, the new metabolic pathways are unfamiliar to your body. Because of this, your body doesn’t work very efficiently. That initial brain fog can be frustrating; it can also last anywhere from a few days to a few weeks. 

Brain fog might feel like you’re moving in slow motion. You might feel like your head just can’t catch up to the normal-paced world. There might be a constant lack of energy. Your body might feel like it’s moving faster than your mind. Remember, this is simply because your body is not an efficient fat burner yet; it won’t last forever! And luckily, there are keto flu remedies that can help.

Quick Keto Flu Remedies

You have a few options to help you manage, but I’m going to start with the simplest of the keto flu remedies. And that is to wait it out. Be patient, and let your bout of keto flu run its course. This option works best for brain fog and lack of energy, where you’re not really experiencing physical symptoms.

If that doesn’t work for you, then you can support your body with MCTs. MCTs are medium-chain triglycerides. MCTs are metabolized completely differently than the long-chain triglycerides that make up fat in your diet. They are digested and metabolized much faster and provide quick fat for energy. You can find MCTs naturally in coconut oil. You can also use specific MCT oils or supplements.

Finally, exogenous ketones can offer a quick source of fuel during the keto flu. This will help with the brain fog, sluggishness, and lack of energy. Exogenous ketones can also provide therapeutic relief and athletic support. However, they CAN NOT make you skinny. I repeat, exogenous ketones will not make you skinny. 

The Exogenous Ketones Lie

Ketones are not the driving force behind weight loss; a calorie deficit is still required to lose body fat. Exogenous ketone supplements are not magic, and they won’t allow you to eat whatever you want and still be in ketosis. You’re not going to lose body fat just from taking the supplement.

There has been a major influx of people selling exogenous ketones with a lot of false promises. It’s important to remember that shortcuts don’t exist when it comes to dieting. I usually tell people that exogenous ketones are just expensive pee. Ketones spill out into your urine if your body has no need to burn them; your body also produces its own ketones if you’re restricting carbs. However, they can be of assistance as one of the keto flu remedies during early carb restriction.

Keto Flu Remedies for Electrolyte Imbalance

It can be hard to differentiate some of the keto flu symptoms from the real flu. Lightheadedness, dizziness, nausea, shakiness, diarrhea, cramps, and feeling blue are all real symptoms of keto flu! Instead of being virus-related, these symptoms are most likely to occur when there is an electrolyte imbalance. Luckily, there are specific keto flu remedies that focus on electrolytes.


The electrolyte imbalance is frequently related to our sodium and potassium levels. Instead of avoiding sodium or limiting how much salt you consume, it is important to maintain your salt intake on keto

Keto-friendly beverages that help get salt in your diet:

  • Broth
  • Stocks
  • Salty brines
  • Pickle juice
  • Sole water
  • LMNT supplement mix
  • Sugar-free electrolyte drinks (Gatorade, Powerade)


Don’t stop at ensuring your sodium levels are in line! It’s also important to maintain sufficient potassium levels. Depleted potassium causes cramps, muscle weakness, irregular heartbeat, and constipation. Most people will be able to get enough potassium from food.

Keto-friendly foods that are high in potassium:

  • Avocados
  • Leafy greens
  • Fish
  • Meat
  • Nuts
  • Mushrooms

If you are considering a potassium supplement, it is important to talk to your doctor! While high potassium is fine in most diets, there are some medical conditions that do not tolerate it. Your medical provider will help you determine if potassium supplements are safe for you.


Finally, magnesium is helpful in terms of balancing your electrolytes. Low magnesium can cause headaches, migraines, constipation, anxiety, irritability, depression, mood disorders, PMS, fatigue, and difficulty sleeping. Magnesium helps support energy production and various cellular processes. However, in this case, it is very important for helping your body make use of the potassium you consume.

Foods that contain magnesium:

  • Leafy greens
  • Seaweed
  • Nuts
  • Seeds
  • Avocado
  • Fatty fish
  • Tofu
  • Coffee
  • Dairy
  • Dark chocolate

There aren’t many keto-friendly foods that are high in magnesium. Therefore, it is common for people following keto to use magnesium supplements. For supplements, be sure to choose one with good bioavailability, such as magnesium glycinate or magnesium citrate.

Sodium & Potassium Balance

The typical Western diet frequently includes high sodium and low potassium foods that can cause excess sodium retention. 

When we shift into ketosis, our insulin drops, and our kidneys release sodium; we also dump buckets of water as our glycogen is depleted. The quick-release of sodium triggers a release of potassium to balance it out. This, combined with extra water being shed, flushes out water-soluble vitamins and minerals much faster than what our bodies are typically used to.

Luckily, the aforementioned keto flu remedies can also help maintain the balance of sodium and potassium throughout your diet.

Further Resources

The Easiest Way to Start Keto [E01]
Keto: A Woman’s Guide & Cookbook
Keto Flu and Electrolyte Imbalance


0:03 – Easy Keto with Tasha
0:42 – Keto: A Woman’s Guide & Cookbook
1:56 – Keto Flu & What To Do
2:25 – Symptoms of The Keto Flu
3:10 – Keto Flu & Fat-Adaptation
5:58 – Brain Fog During the Keto Flu
7:17 – Quick Keto Flu Remedies
8:55 – The Exogenous Ketones Lie
10:51 – Keto Flu Remedies for Electrolyte Imbalance
11:20 – Sodium & Potassium Balance
12:35 – Sodium
13:40 – Potassium
15:58 – Magnesium
18:29 – Outro

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